Ospreys new Weapon series provides a highly-detailed yet affordable overview of the development, use, and impact of small arms throughout historyfrom the sword to the machine gun. Journey back to the time when handguns had no moving parts! Variously called handgonnes, hackbuts, coulevrines, pistolas, schiopettos, tyufyaks, and even bombardelles, the first black powder infantry weapons were extremely crude by todays standards. In his new book, Sean McLachlan, author of American Civil War Guerilla Tactics, dispels the myth that these weapons were ineffective on the battlefield (beyond their terrifying noise!). Rather, he demonstrates through careful examination of the historical records that the handgonne was a viable weapon from its inception, even as it saw action side-by-side with the cross-bow.Readers will be treated to a lush collection of rare photographs and artwork from such far-flung locales as Danish National Museum and the Bayerisches Armeemuseum. Original artwork from Gerry and Sam Embleton illustrate how these weapons were used on the battlefield and reenactor photos demonstrate step-by-step how they were loaded and fired.